EPL: Five things to look out for this weekend

Soccer player celebrates scoring goal

We highlight three things that you should keep an eye out for in the Premier League this weekend.

Arsenal’s incredible unbeaten run under threat from in-form Spurs
Arsenal’s season certainly has turned a corner following a dreadful start to proceedings. They’re now unbeaten in 17 matches across all competitions since their 3-2 defeat at Chelsea in August. Don’t let these stats fool you too much, though. The Gunners have enjoyed playing against absolute fodder in the Europa League in the form of Vorskla, Qarabag and a Sporting Lisbon side who had the spine of their team ripped out at the end of last season. This run has also included home draws against Crystal Palace and Wolves. Spurs, meanwhile, head into this game with renewed confidence following what was probably their best performance of the season last weekend. In front of an expectant Wembley, Spurs blew Chelsea away with David Luiz providing a pair of comedic blunders. First gently swaying out of the way of Harry Kane’s tame shot and for inexplicably running past – and away from – Son Heung-Min as the Korean put the game out of reach of the Blues with Tottenham's third. You can bet that Arsenal will be better equipped to deal with the threat of the Tottenham front line. We should see plenty of goals here with so much attacking talent on display - this has all the makings of a classic North London Derby! 

Everton eying smash and grab in Merseyside Derby
This weekend’s other derby will see Everton make the short trip across Stanley Park to face Liverpool at Anfield. The Reds head into this game off the back of a tame showing away in Paris on Wednesday in which their midfield three of James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum didn’t give enough going forward, and more worryingly, left vast swathes of open space for the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar top exploit. Henderson’s suspension means that Naby Keita or Fabinho will fill in. Xherdan Shaqiri, too, should be afforded another opportunity to start. The Swiss star has provided creative the spark Liverpool have so sorely lacked at times this season. Everton will be looking at this thinking that they can snatch the points. Marco Silva’s men have slowly been making their way up the table, and now find themselves in sixth. They’ll certainly target the Reds’ limping midfield with Senegalese powerhouse Idrissa Gueye key to the Everton’s chances here. If he can get amongst the Liverpool three and allow Andre Gomes to create from a deeper role, Everton could well come away with their first Anfield win in 19 years.

Southampton to draw inspiration from class of the mid-nineties
Many remember Manchester United for their all-dominating team of the mid-nineties that would eventually go on to win the famous treble in 1999. A slightly lesser-known quirk about this team were their struggles against Southampton. A 3-1 win for the Saints in which United change shirts at half-time as well as a 6-3 win, both of which came at Southampton’s old home, The Dell. Mark Hughes and his charges will look to draw inspiration from Matthew Le Tissier and his charges when the Red Devils head down the south coast to St. Mary’s. The Saints have been terrible this season and deservedly find themselves in the bottom three. They’ve not won in nine matches this season as the pressure on Hughes increases. Matters are made worse by the fact that they’re entering a period now where the face three of the top seven in their next four games. Manchester United aren’t in the best form themselves. A 0-0 home draw against Crystal Palace preceded very poor showing in Europe against Swiss minnows, Young Boys. Marouane Fellaini – as he’s done a few times in the last few seasons – popped up with a late winner to spare United’s blushes. Both sides are in desperate need of a win. Southampton need absolutely have to get their festive period off to a solid start or risk being cut adrift in the bottom three. United, meanwhile, will want to keep in in touch with the top four.

Goal-shy Chelsea to cash in against porous Fulham defence
The goals appear to have dried up for Chelsea in their last two Premier League outings. A 0-0 draw at home against an improving Everton outfit was followed up by a 3-1 humbling at the hands of Tottenham. Fortunately, they’ll come up against a Fulham side who have shipped around three goals a game in the league this season. The fixture will also take on extra significance with Claudio Ranieri returning to Stamford Bridge as a West London rival. Mauricio Sarri has a decision to make this weekend: does he persist with Alvaro Morata or does he start with Giroud who now has three goals in his last two appearances for the club. Either way, the Blues should be far too good for Fulham and are tipped to score 3+ goals in the fixture.

Resurgent Terriers in confident mood ahead of Brighton visit
What a difference a couple of weeks makes! Huddersfield have picked up seven points from a possible nine in recent weeks and have climbed out of the relegation zone and into 15th as a result. They’ll be in confident mood against a Brighton outfit who are notoriously bad on the road.  In fact, the Seagulls have won only once in their last 20 away league fixtures – a run that extends all way back to November 2017. You simply can’t see anything other than a Huddersfield win this weekend.

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